Law Blog

On Coronavirus and Talk of A Business Liability “Shield”

On Coronavirus and Talk of A Business Liability “Shield”

COVID-19, Restaurants, Sports
There's been a fair amount of talk and reported stories in the past week or so about giving businesses "immunity" from liability for Coronavirus related lawsuits due to worker or customer illnesses or death. Unsurprisingly, as a Phoenix business lawyer, I've been asked by a few business owners and colleagues how I feel about the idea. Aside from the usual gut response of, how about we all work on or devote everything we've got to getting the populace "immunity" from this thing first, my short answer is: Mixed emotions. First off, there is nothing concrete to examine or for me to even have a take on. Let's cut through all the partisan rhetoric and posturing and see what, if anything, actually takes shape legislation-wise with this Congress. From my perspective,…
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Best Practices for Social Media Celebs and Paid Influencers after FTC v. Teami

Best Practices for Social Media Celebs and Paid Influencers after FTC v. Teami

Celebrity, Entertainment, Online Advertising, Social Media
Influencer by geralt. Pixabay License (image cropped) If you're a business that uses paid-endorsers and social media influencers as part of its marketing strategy, are you ready for elevated scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission? The recent settlement reached between the FTC and health-focused teas and skin care maker Teami, LLC offers some clarity and guidance for social media advertisers hoping to stay out of legal hot water. The Background Section 5 of The Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. § 45(a)) makes “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in interstate commerce illegal. When it comes to product or service endorsements, Section 255.0 of the FTC’s Endorsement Guides provides that the connection between advertiser and endorser must be “fully disclosed” where the connection between the endorser and the advertiser might…
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Is Your AZ Business Prepared for Coronavirus Liability?

Is Your AZ Business Prepared for Coronavirus Liability?

Liablity, Workers Compensation
As of the close of last month, more than 150 class actions had been filed relating to or stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic (Source: AdLawAccess.com). This article covers what steps your startup or small business can take to help prepare you and your company for the coming wave of COVID-19-related claims. It focuses specifically on potential Coronavirus liability from customers and third-parties and not from the company's employees, which I will discuss in a follow-up post. Have You Formed A Legal Business Entity? If you're a business owner reading this, chances are you already operate your company through a formal, legal entity, such as an S-corporation or LLC or even Limited Partnership. If not, there may be no better time than now to do so. Compared to the overall cost…
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‘Red’ Alert: After Redbox, Is It Time to Revisit Your Online Terms of Service?

‘Red’ Alert: After Redbox, Is It Time to Revisit Your Online Terms of Service?

Contracts, E-Commerce, Technology, Terms of Service
In this article, we discuss one of the more recent and interesting (or, depending on your perspective, exasperating) Federal trial court decisions looking at the enforceability of online terms of service, Wilson v. Redbox, why the case matters, key takeaways for your online business, and what it should be doing in response. A brief re-cap, Wilson, a Redbox user (amazing to think it was not that long ago that we actually went to kiosks for our movies--what a hassle!) sued the popular DVD movie rental company under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227) for continuing to send automatic text messages to her phone despite her having opted out. Redbox’s "Terms of Use" (represented by hyperlinks in both its kiosk and website checkout screens require mandatory arbitration of…
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Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Why Your Startup Needs Bylaws

Business Formation, Corporations, Entity Formation
To help your startup succeed with as few internal complications as possible, founders should make having a set of robust corporate Bylaws a priority from the beginning. In this post, we take a look at what Bylaws are, what they do, and why your startup needs to have them in place (hint: it's the law in Arizona). What are Bylaws? While it's tempting to believe that corporate Bylaws are only for large, faceless, mega-corporations, as opposed to your lean, development-stage startup, nothing could be further from the truth. Any company (of whatever size) that chooses the corporate form through which to conduct its business should really have a well-crafted set of Bylaws in place. In a nutshell, a corporation's Bylaws are the internal guidelines that deal with how your corporation…
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